Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Buzzwords in you Church!

Buzzwords in your church - maybe they make a spray or trap or maybe even something electronic like a Buzzword Zapper that would fry the nasty vermin the moment it's uttered with a satisfying sizzle, snap, and flash. A puff of acrid smoke would be too much to ask for, but it would be perfect. Buzzwords are rampant where I work, and now I'm being "blessed" with them where I worship. 

What is a buzzword? A buzzword is simply a word, term, or phrase that repackages an old concept in a description that sounds "new" or "edgy". Sometimes buzzwords are invented to promote a new concept or product, and that's the sign of a desperate development team or marketing genius trying to sell the unsellable. Other times buzzwords exist to hide heresy. Remember: buzzwords are not a spontaneous thing, they're invented for a purpose, and the primary purpose of a buzzword is to make the user sound "edgy", "hip", and "in the know" at the expense of the English language.

How do you make a buzzword? Easy, one way is to take a noun and turn it into a verb, ("We're planning to 'mainstreet' this product before the 15th of the month") or take an adjective and turn it into a noun ("You need to re-examine your 'verticals'". ) Or you just take a word and use it incorrectly, or sometimes you can come up with a phrase that sounds cool, but if you actually think about it, it's stupid. Buzzwords are all about symbolism over substance. (Remember, it's not a buzzword if it accurately describes the concept)

Buzzwords are easy to kill, when you hear someone use one break out the patented Asleep No More Buzzword Swatter. When you hear someone utter a buzzword simply ask them what they meant. After they describe the concept or process simply say "That's much better and doesn't cause any confusion. Why didn't you just say that first?" - works every time. Now here's a few of the nastier linguistic debris that may be flying around your house of worship looking for a new believer to confuse or an IQ to lower. Crush them if you can:

Missional: Missional means to adopt of the posture, thinking, behaviors, and practices of a missionary in order to engage others with the gospel message. This buzzword goes back to 1934 and it means in a nutshell that we were called to go forth and spread the Gospel and to do that we must live in a manner that would allow us to go forth and spread the Gospel, or evangelize. People who are called to go forth and spread the Gospel are, in reality, called missionaries, apostles, Christians, but all are evangelists. So many other, better words, were crushed in the development of missional, what's wrong with devout, dedicated, or evangalistic? and if you feel a need to use the word mission in your catch phrase (a close cousin of the buzzword) why not "mission oriented" or "mission focused"? 

Future Travelers: If you hear this one, run. If you hear it in your church, leave the church. Forever. I suggest finding a small white wood frame building with a steeple and a wheezy old organ used to lead actual hymns. Future Travelers is a learning system that helps mega-churches to become missional. A buzzword connected to a buzz word is a dangerous thing. But look at it this way: spreading the gospel is the duty of all Christians, and Future Travelers's goal is to teach a mega-church to be Christian. This ain't good. (Keep in mind that the primary goal of the mega-church is to starve the sheep, feed the goats, and enrich the elders. If you don't shake your pastors hand every Sunday and hear him say something like "How's little Jimmy's rash?" or "How's the begonias this year?" if you can't go to a Church picnic and greet 75% of everyone there by their first name you are REALLY TRULY missing what Christian fellowship is all about.) Don't try to swat this one, just leave.

Abundant Life: Abundant means a lot of something. Life - we only get one life. So abundant life means a lot of lives? if by Abundant life they mean abounding fullness of joy in Christ I don't mind so much, but Abundant Life is also used by the Word Faith movement in their "Name it and Claim it" gospel of greed. Swat this one, lovingly, but swat this one just the same. You need to know if your pastor meant 'one with Christ in heaven' or "one with Christ picking out the color of the new Mercedes he's going to give you."

Anointed: I really dislike this one. Anointed means to be smeared with something, generally oil. It come from the ancient practice of pouring oil over  a sheep's head to keep bugs from digging into their skin and ears. It also means chosen because God would indicate whom he had picked for a task (such as King of Israel, see 1 Samuel 16:10-13) But some Christians use it to mean "gifted" or "skilled" and it's wrong, stop it! Or I'll swat this one with a quart of Quaker State's finest 10W-40. Correct phrase to use: Chosen (when someone is chosen or appointed) or gifted (when someone is gifted or skilled)

Visioning: A prime example of turning a noun into a verb. It means anything you want it to mean. What it really means is discernment, conceptualizing, planning. Proper phrase to use: discernment, conceptualizing, planning (duh)

Purpose Driven Church: it means a church that is dedicated to obey God and follow his purposes. What it really means is a church that demands strict obedience to God's purposes as defined by Rick Warren rather than the bible. Correct phrase to use: Goat Pen.

Christ Follower: It means Christian. What it really means is a member of a Purpose Driven Church. Correct phrase to use: Goat.

Mission Statement: All true Christian churches should have the same mission statement. It should be 66 books long.


  1. Add to the list, intentional, relational....

  2. Relational discipleship. If I hear that term one more time, I might kill something.

  3. Regarding Anointed...you do realize that Christ = Messiah = Anointed with Oil, right? And thus Christians = Anointeds ....

    1. Christ = Messiah = מלך המשיח which means anointed KING.
      I am not a king but a slave to Christ Jesus. Anointing was always used to bestow a majestic title of the highest honor - king, savior, high priest. To me, personally, to claim that I have been anointed by God is arrogance and pride of the highest level, something that I, a mere sinner cannot aspire to by my own words but only by the grace of God.

      Is it incorrect to say that we are anointed? 1 John 2:27 says we are anointed, but he's talking of the endowment that we realize who Jesus truly is.

      The term anointed in association with believers is used twice that I can find, and neither time is it an anointing in the true sense of the word, but a spiritual sense. In a modern day spiritual setting all I can think of that comes close to anointing is the pomp and sanctimony of the Roman Catholic Church. The confirmation ceremony where young people are anointed with oil as a "soldier of Christ" is a prime example - why would I want to associate myself with that?

      If I'm going to claim that I am by God, I'd rather say something like Loved, or Saved, or Chosen, there's many more, and clearer, bible verses on those claims.

  4. ...or even 73 books long? :-)